If Nolawi Ca Koo, So Ka Yu! 60 Comments

There is a prominent Chinese American chef on PBS named Martin Yan; he makes Cantonese style quick and easy stir-fry recipes.

He has a popular phrase at the end of his show where he would put the last garnish on the entrée and he would loudly say

and remember… If Yan Can Cook, So Can You!”

I can’t help but smile every time I hear it because it’s so catchy, much like a popular phrase from the radio during WWII era in which a legendary host would say “Good Night and Good Luck!”

You might have heard because George Clooney titled his Film about the host after it.

Except when Martin Yan says it, he doesn’t pronounce the ‘N’s and its quite funny. It sounds like ‘If Ya Ca Koo So Ka Yu!

And I can’t stop laughing when people make fun of it by changing it up and saying “If Yan can’t, then neither can you!” or many other reiterations of the phrase.

I hate to make fun of accents, as I have an accents that can be construed as an Indian-Ethiopian that migrated to America; and that is another story.
nolawi pizza

Right before I was going to put the Pizza in the Oven

So I bought book on quick and easy stir-fry dish because I wanted break my Wok Meron and Dawit bought me when I moved into my apartment. I haven’t yet because these days I have been making pizza, at least once a week after I bought a pizza stone that works better than the wood oven at Wolf Gang Pucks.

Making pizza is very easy and much of the work is the dough. After the second time I have it down to a science the way I like it. I can even throw it up in the air!

The ingredients change based on what is in the fridge but I have put almost any vegetable and or meat on it, on different occasions of course.

The best thing about making pizza is that you can flavor it in different styles, like my Ethiopian meatballs, I have made it very Ethiopian by flavoring like the fried Bederjan we used to have in our home in Ethiopia.

For those not familiar with what Bederjan is, it’s a special eggplant that is found in Ethiopia. They mostly make Wot with it but it’s not the same as one found in the west. The Latin name is actually Solanum aethiopicum, notice the Ethiopian in the name. So they call it ‘Ethiopian eggplant.’ My mom would argue that the small fat Egg plant is found at the Korean store, thus not making it Ethiopian at all.

Eggplant is popular in our house hold, both my sisters; make fried egg plant but breaded Italian style in most cases. My younger sister uses eggplant in many dishes, including salad.

In Ethiopia eggplant is used in different things. Like this Ethiopian Eggplant salad or the Bederjan wot; not a big fan of it but it beats having Shiro with no meat. Even the Eritrean serve it with bereberE and tomato sauce; I am not a big fan of that either; BerberE and Tomatoes should not mix.

nolawi pizza

Pizza Out from the Oven cooling, look at the perfect puffy crust, just the way I like it!

Mostly though, I prefer Margherita style pizza, tomatoes, basil, parsley and Red Bell Peppers with different types of cheeses. So I make the pizza with a different reiteration based on what is available in the refrigerator.

And thus, remember …. If Nolawi Ca Koo, So Ka Yu!

60 Responses to “If Nolawi Ca Koo, So Ka Yu!”

  1. 1 Uncle B

    May be I’m trippin….but there’s something wrong with that pizza. Sorry dude.

  2. 2 Nolawi

    you are tripping.. yah the picture is yellowish but there is nothing wrong with the pizza other than its a little square

  3. 3 meron

    i wasnt invited to pizza night??!!!??!!

    what the heck??

  4. 4 Totit

    Uncle B…why did u think there is something wrong with the pizza?
    Ur comment and Nolawi’s answer cracked me up…All that pizza is gone…and Nolawi is writing about it…and Meron wanted to have some…sure enough that pizza must have been good…dont u think…I know the shape is caught in between a square and a circle, but who cares…

  5. 5 Guadegna

    Nice read, ever trying making calzone? Tried it once I should make it again it has been couple of years.

  6. 6 spacefog

    As my colombian friend would say ”Nice Chicken you have there”.

    Who were you trying to scare in the first picture?

    And Pizza looks good try to work on the circle thing.

  7. 7 petite

    Very inspiring for some of us who’re challenged in the kitchen..:)

  8. 8 Anonx

    I think that dough did not receive enough TLC, came out of the oven letting you it could have used a little more spanking. Next time throw it up in the air and catch it your cobra fist few time and let the fingers work some massage action.:)

  9. 9 abyssinia

    I too make pizza at home once in a while…but who cares about the shape so long as I have the right ingredients and tastes good.

  10. 10 ----Wiit

    someone stole my old nickname. It’s not cool at all.

    yihunina…hi five for your pizza…it looks good but weirdly shaped. I need to get myself into the kitched and learn one of these days.

  11. 11 seni

    It looks good. All that for you?
    Ever tried to sprinkle mitmita just before you eat it?
    Well I use mitmita with everything, pasta, samdwitch, eggs etc. It’s an addiction of mine
    I also found out all mitmita are not created the same, quality is important.

  12. 12 tsegure

    I see one glass 1/4 full, one bottle 1/8 full and one square pizza (looks good though).

    The question is did the wine come before the pizza or did the pizza come before the wine. Considering it’s almost empty that may explain the stare you’re giving us and the shape of the pizza. LOL

  13. 13 Nolawi

    Ere you guys the shape of the pizza is almost perfect- the part that looks like its ouffed up is the good part.. it took like ten tries to make the puffy crust right.

    You see you have to have enough yeast and let it rise atleast 2 hours before you make the dough.. What I do is make enough dough for two pizza’s and leave the other one in the fridge for a couple of days.

    The picture is dark and you can’t see the dough so I am putting a closeup of the pizza – you see the edge part rises and there is air pockets. When there is air pockets it means the dough is perfect and plasticky just like a the crust a bageutte except not as thick.

  14. 14 helen

    BerberE and Tomatoes should not mix

    But your pizza doesn’t look too bad but you look like you were mad at somebody in that picture.

  15. 15 ----Wiit

    by the way, I thought you said you don’t like it when people pose. So why are you all posing in that picture? practice what you preach :D

  16. 16 Grand Ma

    I think pizza taste yummy with Cold beer (in warm, hot seasons), white Zifandel is absolutley out of this world with pizza including red sauce. Ginger wine, good brand mineral water is tastey with pizza.

  17. 17 walid

    Nolawi,no offense but with that stare you dont look like you just made a tasty pizza.Rather an angry man ready to shove it (the pizzza) in to sombody’s throat at any moment.Well, not me.I have enough scare looking at it, and you!

  18. 18 kay

    Nolawi enezih’n z’m belachew ere, your square pizza is perfect….hehe…I feel your pain, I get simillar comments on my Enjera. hehe hod yif’jew

    oh and the stare, tadiya dawit b’cha new endE model look yemifeqed’let…haha

  19. 19 spacefog


    You will have no excuse not to cook after this.

    Nolawi koo or not,You ka koo sth.

    Check out this site



  20. 20 Genet

    The pizza looks great meaning it looks as if you got it from a oven pizza restaurant not fast food joint as pizza hut and stuff. Wow you mastered it I must say it looks tempting. The chinese chef trys to be funny on his show. I must admit i am biased that i love Marcus Samuelsson above any other chef not only because he is from my country but due to my huge crush. I think he is hot. Please check out his book everyone.

  21. 21 Dinich


    Ok… last week we learned about the independent girl…this week we are learning about the independent man who doesn’t need a woman to cook…

    I dont get it. I think there is some independent woman out there u trying to impress….that is my 1 + 1….or u r trying to tell the independent woman that u dont need her anyways….

    But I give 11 out of 10 for ur cooking skills….

  22. 22 Nolawi

    Two things, I was not posing, my little brother took the pic for some reason, hence the lighting. right before I put it in not after…

    Second, I was not mad, I was just serious… if you looked at the other picture you would realize that i was not mad at all~

  23. 23 meron

    nolawi did u delete my comment???

  24. 24 Nolawi

    no i didn’t…

  25. 25 dawitm

    LOL helen & Wiit… i was thinking of same thing too.

    i don’t know much about pizza (lol, except eating it sometimes). i am not into pizza, but if i have to eat, it gotta be chicago style deep pizza).

    anyway, pizza does not look that bad. what matters is Nolawi made it to his liking. dude is actually pretty good & confident to share his experience.

  26. 26 sosina

    That pizza looks very good! I love the freeflowing shape of it, that’s the way it should be. Forgive those think that pizza is only the perfectly round crap they get at dominos.

    But as a purist, I have to balk at your Margherita ingredients. It is simply Tomato sauce (flavored however you like it) – some sun dried (or oven dried) tomatoes, Cuts of fresh mozzarella (not shredded! – but be sure to squeeze all the liquid out or it will make your awesome crust soggy) and fresh basil leaves.

    Anyway, well done. that looks great.

    For an Ethiopian twist on other pizzas, you should try quanta as topping – yum.

  27. 27 Tsedey

    I actually liked the lighting in this the pic. I don’t mind abou the shape of the pizza as long as it’s tasty- I can’t comment on that cos I obviously didn’t taste it. But the ingredients are not spread out even. That bugs me a little.

  28. 28 lemat

    The pizza looks good, but your accidental pose reminds me Baboo the Indian guy from my favorite show Seinfeld when he was staring at to Jerry. If you can handle all this Bernosians’ critics definitely you should consider yourself be part of Hell’s Kitchen contestant. Good job and Good Luck!!

  29. 29 Hidaya

    I like the look of your kitchen, it looks minimalist and cozy at the same time, you seem taken by surprise in the photo or puzzled not sure and the pizza looks fine in the close up ,as Tsedey says the most important thing is that it taste good, I dont eat pizza, the yeast in it or any yeast might kill me.

  30. 30 Moki

    Everyone, It’s just Pizza!

    Why is everyone making it to be this great accomplishment. Sorry Nolawi.

  31. 31 Totit

    Endeeee Moki I wanted to discuss the pizza…hoooo gude eko newe…We have plenty of time on our hands…and right about now there is nothing else I would like to discuss but that pizza…Mokiye..pleeeaaassse join me…:)

  32. 32 lilye

    Sosina & Nolawi

    Try bocconcini cheese on the margarita. Not only is it delicious it also looks very good when you top it with slices of sun dried tomatoes.


    The topic of this blog is pizza… so we are discussing about it!!! The topic that is

  33. 33 sosina

    lilye, Thanks. Great idea. Never thought of using those. I only use them in salads. Definately beats trying to slice the large chunks of mozarella and probably easier to dry too.

    Nolawi, you should start a cooking series. I developed a passion for cooking a few years ago and now I’m hooked. All into elaborate meals.

    Anyway, thanks for the inspiration this week. I’m totally going to find time to make a pizza this weekend. Maybe a white pizza. Something about the taste of creamy warm ricotta on a crispy crust makes the world all right again.

  34. 34 Nolawi

    sosina you should start writing about it… email me for details nolawi.petros at gmail

  35. 35 Moi

    I know veganism is not much practiced in our culture, but try this lovely vegan pizza recipe. Gluten free pizza dough, hummus (in lieu of cheese), shredded carrots, black olives and mushroom…You can add all the veggies your heart desires…

  36. 36 Dinich

    This thread is turning into a cookbook….

  37. 37 -----Wiit

    Moi, sorry but your pizza does not sound appetizing
    lets see, I don’t like hammus and mushrooms. Don’t they have some vegan cheese instead of humus?

  38. 38 Tsedey

    Moi, I would actually try your pizza. Def. healthy and delish.

    minamin-wiit, the whole idea of Vegan diet is to stay away from animal products..hence NO such thing as vegan cheese.

  39. 39 Guadegna

    sorry but that vegan pizza didn’t sound too appetizing to me. Gluten free pizza dough….menew jal lemin ayqerim SBS

  40. 40 Hidaya

    Moi I’d like the vegan pizza one question is it yeast free?

  41. 41 Malefia

    hey,,, Good job! Just being in the kitchen and trying to figure out cooking your own food, makes you a hero. and came up with Yummy pizzza.
    that is SEXY..

  42. 42 busu

    I am new to this site, looks like you all know each other.

    anyway, that pizza looks good. It looks like one of those gourmet pizza I see at whole foods.

  43. 43 Nolawi

    HI Busu nice to have you here, we don’t know each other, most of the people in here are all over in North america. Although we do find people from asia and africa too.

  44. 44 Grand Ma

    If you don’t mind, please share with us the white pizza ingredients. I’ve my favourite spot for white pizza eatery where i live and i always want to try it @ home if i find the right ingredients.

    The place is owned by a Greek immigrants and it could be just the type of cheese they use. The exprience you get eating their white pizza is off the hook.

  45. 45 Genet


    Oh please our culture is vegan during Sohm(fasting).
    That’s why we don’t eat any animal product during fasting. We just don’t have a fancy name for Vegan
    in Amharic.

  46. 46 Henok

    Is that a wine stare? Looks good. Pizza with wine tastes yukky! That pizza goes with cold beer.

  47. 47 hilarious

    hahah if ya ka cook so can u i’ve see that guy.

    once the comedian George Carlin said “….i’d like to know which $%^$#*( is making my pizza when i play an order…”
    Ya’ll ever thought about who’s making your pizza when you have a pizza delivery?

    check this out

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